Adoption of stroke rehabilitation technologies by the user community : qualitative study

Kerr, Andrew and Smith, Mark and Reid, Lynn and Baillie, Lynne (2018) Adoption of stroke rehabilitation technologies by the user community : qualitative study. JMIR Rehabilitation and Assistive Technologies, 5 (2). e15. (

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Background: Using technology in stroke rehabilitation is attractive. Devices such as robots or smartphones can help deliver evidence-based levels of practice intensity and automated feedback without additional labor costs. Currently, however, few technologies have been adopted into everyday rehabilitation. Objective: This project aimed to identify stakeholder (therapists, patients, and caregivers) priorities for stroke rehabilitation technologies and to generate user-centered solutions for enhancing everyday adoption. Methods: We invited stakeholders (n=60), comprising stroke survivors (20/60, 33%), therapists (20/60, 33%), caregivers, and technology developers (including researchers; 20/60, 33%), to attend 2 facilitated workshops. Workshop 1 was preceded by a national survey of stroke survivors and therapists (n=177) to generate an initial list of priorities. The subsequent workshop focused on identifying practical solutions to enhance adoption. Results: A total of 25 priorities were generated from the survey; these were reduced to 10 nonranked priorities through discussion, consensus activities, and voting at Workshop 1: access to technologies, ease of use, awareness of available technologies, technologies focused on function, supports self-management, user training, evidence of effectiveness, value for money, knowledgeable staff, and performance feedback. The second workshop provided recommendations for improving the adoption of technologies in stroke rehabilitation: an annual exhibition of commercially available and developing technologies, an online consumer-rating website of available technologies, and a user network to inspire and test new technologies. Conclusions: The key outcomes from this series of stakeholder workshops provides a starting point for an integrated approach to promoting greater adoption of technologies in stroke rehabilitation. Bringing technology developers and users together to shape future and evaluate current technologies is critical to achieving evidence-based stroke rehabilitation.